I have done away with new year's resolutions forever.
Instead of inspiring me throughout the year to be the best I can be, resolutions wind up bringing me down. The new year invokes an image of a clean slate, a do over, a chance to start fresh for me, but that also brings forth self-reflection. For years I have hauled out my list of New Year's Resolutions from the year prior and "judged" my own performance. Some years I have actually accomplished a couple of the resolutions on my list, but most years I just wind up feeling bad about what I didn't do instead of being happy about what I did.
Last year I decided to try something new. Instead of creating a list of resolutions I was destined to fail, I chose three words to live by in 2013. Not sure how it would work, I also set a couple back up resolutions. After a year of incredible change and growth I cannot even remember the resolutions I set, but the words were part of my every day life. It was like having an automatic intention to live by.
As I look back on 2013 I realize how well this new approach worked for me. I am proud of my achievements instead of busting myself for what I didn't do and I am feeling positive. That in itself is a minor miracle --given that most of my life I have lived with a mean inner voice who isn't always quick to hand out compliments.
Whether you set resolutions at the beginning of each new year as a rule or not, the three words to live by is a tradition I encourage everyone to try. I used my three words from last year as a filter to weigh each new opportunity in 2013 against. That helped me rethink old commitments and assess new opportunities to make sure they aligned with my three words and the direction I wished to go.
As I approached the end of this year I contemplated my new words, settled on three and then changed them right before writing this. They have to ring true -- and when you find the right ones, you will know.
My words for 2014 are: clarify, cultivate and savor.
Clarify and cultivate were chosen to remind me that my work is not done; I am still growing and changing, and as I do, I will need to refine (or clarify) often to make sure I am on the right track. Not one to stop and smell the roses as often as I should, choosing savor as my third word is a way to remind me continually that life is not just about accomplishing, it is also about enjoying and appreciating the little moments. Something I began in 2013 and plan to continue doing for the rest of my life.
In case you need some word ideas, here is a list. Do any of these speak to you?
simplify, linger, thrive, create, appreciate, illuminate, flourish, shine, believe, spirit, affirm, seize, trust, succeed, savor, accomplish, prosper, expand, uplift, radiate, enlighten, astonish, revel, pleasure, relish, enjoy, ease, courage, devour, clarify, cultivate, surrender, spirit, balance, serenity, integrity, success, purpose, commitment, flexible, allow, energy, motivate, absorb, tranquility, peace, serenity, organize, visualize, anticipate, aware, awaken, faith, grace, shimmer, sizzle, dazzle, sparkle, enlighten, reach, trust, blossom, connect, experience, wisdom, strength, hope, joy, breathe, gratitude, grow, release, balance, brave, control, explore, express, finish, flow, find, nourish, heal, try, play, activate, healthy, nourish, slowdown, reflect, collaborate, celebrate, communicate
Ending the year on a positive note allows me to ring in the new year with hope in my heart. Hope that 2014 will be the best year ever, and that I will see forward motion in my loosely outlined plan to become the best version of me that I can be.
Cheers to a new year filled with unending love, light + peace.